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Kanzler July 5th, 2013 1:57 PM

What is America's image in the world?
Welcome to a two-part thread about the perception of these two countries, China and America. If this kicks off, I'll start a third thread bringing the two together.

Considering everything that's happened/happening lately, what is America's image in the world? Consider everything, from the general:

What does America stand for?
Is America a force for good or evil?
Does America have friends or enemies? What do friends/enemies think of America? the specific:

How do(es):

Foreign intervention (or not!)
Domestic and foreign surveillance
The state of the economy
Its political effectiveness
Its record on human rights
Cultural attitudes
And anything else you think is important

The questions in the two threads are parallel to one another, and I'm pretty happy in how the symmetry turned out. I'm very curious to see whether members foreign to both countries will pitch in their ideas (cuz that will carry the discussion)! If there's anything you're not sure about or don't have an answer/opinion to, pose that as a question. What we don't know and what we think we don't know is just as important as what we know and what we think we know.

Happy discussing (and introspecting for you Americans out there)!

danks_ July 9th, 2013 2:20 AM

What does America stand for?: America is a continent with 35 countries. But I'm guessing you are talking about the USA

Is America a force for good or evil? I think it's a country with a lot of power, a lot of bad decisions. I don't believe it's a force of evil, nor a force of good. It's just another country.

Does America have friends or enemies? What do friends/enemies think of America?: I think this question is very vague and I don't think it's politically accurate. I just think the USA messes too much with other countries.

I have nothing much to say for I'm not that interested in USA, I've lived there and, just, wasn't for me. The amount of patriotism is just too much and I really dislike extremists that go all over the place with their "USA is the best country of the world and everyone else sucks". That's pretty much how I see USA, no offence.

sorry about this, it's just really funny:

Kanzler July 9th, 2013 5:13 PM

The questions are subject to your personal interpretation. There's not a correct or more accurate answer only different perspectives that I'm interested in reading about.

François July 9th, 2013 5:56 PM

What does America stand for?
I don't think America stands for much.

Is America a force for good or evil?
Both, to extents that are impossible to compare. It's done good, it's done bad, I doubt it's purposefully decided to do "bad", but personally I don't like the attitude towards policing the world. Otherwise most stuff is the sort of decision most any other country would make, so nothing notable.

Does America have friends or enemies? What do friends/enemies think of America?

I think most people would list the UK as the USA's only friend. Enemies are a tad more obvious. I don't think people in nations with governments friendly to the US have their view at all affected by that, though.

I think America's "image" is rather amusingly bad for such a powerhouse on the world stage. Ask people what they think of the powers that be and it's either "wow they're so backward over there" or "lol they have far too much influence", which I guess is natural, but then you ask what they think of ordinary American citizens and it's either (again) "wow they're so backward over there" or "lol they fat". Also I feel as if it's a common perception that America is somewhat culturally bankrupt, but your (lack of) history can't be helped. The US just happened to get lumbered with a bad stereotype though, I'm not sure if it's fair to say people hate / laugh at the US just because their stereotype is of bible bashing McDonald customers.

Nick July 9th, 2013 6:45 PM

Just so you're aware, I'm an American citizen by birth (for validity). I know a lot of 'Murkins like to drop their dry cleaner when they see some of the stuff I'm about to say, so don't think I'm some Kazakhstani pretending to be American in order to get out my hate.

What does America stand for?
Gluttony, selfishness, and greed of the worst kind. We used to be nice and selfless, the 90s kind of let that slip away with the advance of our own corporatoplutotheocracy (yes, a mouthful, but that's what it is).

Is America a force for good or evil?
I'd say we used to be the best force of good around back in the day, but we got all high and mighty of ourselves after WWII (think: Vietnam). And again in the 90s.

Does America have friends or enemies? What do friends/enemies think of America?
I think America has more enemies than friends, honestly. I don't see too many countries other than the UK and France even offering to help us with all of our money-mongeling wars over big oil.

Foreign intervention (or not!)
It's out of greed, which is why we do it with complete and utter disregard for anyone in our way.

Domestic and foreign surveillance
It's the norm here. Expect to be watched and surveyed and robbed of your identity a thousand times over in the US of A.

The state of the economy
Pathetic. Gasoline is a good example of this, too. The way the oil companies toyed with the gas prices to screw us over with our dependence on them. You know, crash the economy and sneak in a few extra dollars per gallon while no one was looking. Or was it raising it to $4.00 a gallon, knowing people will complain about gas and might actually do something to boycott them, then lowering it to $3.85, causing everyone to miraculously shut up (over fifteen cents I might add). YOU'RE STILL PAYING $3.85 for gasoline you dumb idiot!

Its political effectiveness
Warying. It used to be we could do pretty much whatever we wanted back in the 50s, but, as usual, we abused that power 'til it was gone. And it went, too. Our moneymaking skirmishes kind of made the rest of the world lose respect for innocent people dying because some rich fat old white dude isn't happy with his diamond-studded gold-plated swimming pool in his 15,000 acre resort of a mansion.

Its record on human rights
Also pathetic. The government has made a way to gradually reduce all of our "rights" to nothing—If we even had them to begin with. Just look back to when we forced 110,000 Japanese-American citizens by birth into internment, simply because their parents were born in the wrong country. Human rights don't mean anything when you need them, that's for sure.

Cultural attitudes
Americans don't know jack squat when it comes to world politics. The closest you can get to what your average American knows about some other country is the revolutionaries in Northern Africa and the Taliban. Other than that, most Americans couldn't even tell you what the Prime Minister of Canada is. And that, is honest truth.

And anything else you think is important
I think I've covered all of my bases. No further inquiry, for now.

Lance July 9th, 2013 10:08 PM

my my aren't we a hateful little bunch today.

Is America a force for good or evil?

Perspective is everything. Like just about every country, (Yes, your's too) there are episodes of good and bad.

Does America have friends or enemies? What do friends/enemies think of America?

Obviously both. Friends might be a little edgy after all the NSA/Monitoring going on, but that's to be expected. And our enemies obviously want us all dead or defeated, etc.

Foreign intervention (or not!)

The world's lone superpower has been acting as a police force for roughly 70 some years now. Do you want another Bosnia or Rwanda? If there's a real human rights issue going on (Like the ones I just mentioned) then something needs to be done. Or do you advocate that we just let Syria rip itself apart and destabilize the entire region? I'm not a war hawk or a neocon, but there are times for diplomacy and times for action.

Domestic and foreign surveillance

This is nothing new. Where was the outrage 10 years ago, I wonder?

The state of the economy

Congressional leadership won't let it recover. Get rid of them, and get a jobs bill through, and watch it recover faster.

Its political effectiveness

See above.

Its record on human rights

Certainly not the best, looking at our history with slavery and how we treated the Native population, but at least we're not still burning quote-unquote 'witches' like in Indonesia or quartering soccer referees like in Brazil.

AnonygooseD July 11th, 2013 6:29 AM

Allow me to not write in the form of Q&A as I want to mention the government & the people separately, I'm an Egyptian btw & here's what I concluded...

1. From the common mobs' perspective:

-The Government: a selfish & invasive one, always interfering with everyone's business & subtly trying to take over the world & steal everyone's oil, it pretends to care about nations & the environment while it actually doesn't give a damn & just making fake faces to deceive everyone. It always spies on everyone in its lands & abroad too, it blackmails people who it wants silenced or else it just kills them. It uses terrorists for its own profit, such as killing people in the name of religion to give it a bad reputation or doing random acts of violence so that the gov can appear as a hero & save the day to make everyone think it's a goody-goody gov that America (as a country) needs.

-The People: the "free" people, they don't bother themselves with religion & their gov is giving them many many rights, they have sex heterosexually & homosexually as much as they want, they carry guns & weapons for "protection", they can have alcoholic drinks & get drunk anywhere & anytime & they don't give much attention to principles & manners while dealing with others. They're so proud of their country & think it's heaven & every other country is ****, they're also somewhat isolated & still think Arabs live in tents in deserts & Asians do Ninja work for a living.

2. What I think:

-The Government: just like many other govs, they're not heavenly & maybe their bad side is greater than their good side, they only care about being the "perfect" country even if that's harmful to others, they play dirty at times but they're no exception, but then again people involved are neither pure good nor pure evil.

-The People: it depends from person to person, but the pride part is true 90% of the time. Other than that there are religious people & porn stars & countless shades in between, not all of them like their gov & not all of them think USA is heaven. They live for the day & are pretty organized when it comes to getting things done. They're not always caring or friendly towards others but it depends on the time & situation.

CarcharOdin July 11th, 2013 6:36 AM

I think America is a mixed flavor of good and bad. It's a nation like any other, filled with humans, which are flawed creatures. Not a perfect nation, could stand to stop doing certain things that are pissing me off (like the NSA surveillance and drone striking), but there's a lot worse places in the world you can be.

Atomic Pirate July 12th, 2013 1:20 PM

America's not perfect, but I'm glad I live here rather than a country like China, North Korea, or just about any Middle Eastern/North African country.

Limerent July 14th, 2013 4:30 AM

What does America stand for? America stands for democracy and freedom, at the highest levels of government not distorted by the media, religion or public opinion that's what they represent and work towards.
Is America a force for good or evil? There is no black or white, just shades of grey.
Does America have friends or enemies? Most of Europe and Western countries like Australia, Canada etc are your allies. Not sure if there are clear cut nations against you (except Iran and NK) but it is my perception that a whole lot of the dislikes you guys!

Foreign intervention (or not!) America, please, maybe if you want foreign intervention you could do it through the UN, rather than being a global police bully? If you do it figure your priorities out before you go in, it either requires full on military control or subtle but unrelenting use of covert warfare, there is no in between or halfheartedness. I'd support or oppose American foreign intervention on a case by case basis, although from what I've read their government is looking to extricate itself from overseas conflicts in the upcoming future :)

Domestic and foreign surveillance Surveillance has always been necessary. But American hype with the "War on Terror" has completely blown this type of stuff out of the water. They should really cut it back unless there's an actual reason to suspect someone has ill intent, it's just giving anti-government nutheads another reason to stockpile guns so they can kill anyone who tries to take away their "freedoms".

[BThe state of the economy][/B] Not a whole lot of experience on this but my American mates tell me it's pretty shocking.
Its political effectiveness It's still a superpower with a lot of influence, at least in world politics. Nationally I find the impasse and division between Republicans and Democrats "liberals and conservatives" absolutely ridiculous. Keep in mind that i'm an outsider with no first hand experience, but you guys can't seem to agree on policies for anything. I personally side with liberals and President Obama :) Republicans look like dinosaurs to me.
Its record on human rights Disgusting. American Indians? Black people? Mexicans? Muslims? Yeah I don't think they get treated as humans over there... More like enemies of our way of life to be discriminated against during whatever point of history we're at..

My overall view of the average American from "the rest of the world" perspective is that you guys are poorly educated and completely twisted by your media, corporations, government etc into believing whatever is the flavour of the month for any racist, religious or simply evil fanatic nutjobs are allowed to thrive under the guise of freedom. Americans don't value the true meaning of that enough. Like healthcare reform and a gun safe society? Nah, we'd prefer to die in our 40's and kill each other because lul we're so free we can do that! For every well informed and intelligent American I meet there seem to be 5 ignorant or intolerant ones. Maybe that's because they're just more vocal :P

My view of the government is that they're going their best but a whole lot of the political system and public does not support the bests interests of the public due to greed and misconceptions created by small minorities (not racial) who benefit.

blaziken25 July 29th, 2013 1:18 AM

What does America stand for? The USA? America is two continents! It stands for democracy.

Is America a force for good or evil? Both. It has it's good times and then it has it's bad times (Which aren't in the history books.)

Does America have friends or enemies? What do friends/enemies think of America? My country is it's friend but there are many more enemies out there for USA. We think that the USA is very influential and not in all good ways.

Silais July 29th, 2013 8:38 AM

Most countries regard the United States negatively because of how our government chooses to act regardless of the majority of the population. They see us as fat, violent, uneducated and completely cut off from the rest of the world.

While a lot of us are overweight and obese, and our education system below university level is not up to par with other smaller, more economically stable countries (Netherlands, Finland, etc.etc.), we're really not much different from Europeans. Most of us are non-violent and have a certain, if uneasy, respect for the law. Sure, we like our Bill of Rights, but why shouldn't we?

Awkward. July 29th, 2013 9:59 AM

What does America stand for?
It's said to stand for freedom and diversity, but that can easily be debated.

Is America a force for good or evil?
I think it's a force that's intending to do good, but it's operated and led so poorly that it just creates more bad, and everyone perceives it as such.

Does America have friends or enemies? What do friends/enemies think of America?
Hella enemies. Didn't North Korea threaten to bomb us not too long ago? I'm sure other countries don't think that highly of us and see us more as a giant dictator that could kill them at any moment.

Foreign intervention (or not!)
This is where I will probably be the most passionate. America needs to stay the hell out of everybody's business. I'm well aware that what we do is for influence, but we don't need to be in other countries, worrying about what's going on there, when we have more than enough problems back home that still need to be dealt with.

The state of the economy
We're screwed lol. Like I said, if we didn't spend/borrow so much money on/from other countries, we'd be fine.

Its political effectiveness
This was actually something we learned about in American History right before school let out. I'm pretty sure that after the 1960s, everyone stopped believing in the President after the lies about the Vietnam War came out. That has only deteriorated much more in the last 50 or so years.

White Mage July 30th, 2013 12:14 AM

What does America stand for?
Freedom, Democracy, Power, Greed

Is America a force for good or evil?
The definitions of "Good" and "Evil" vary by person.

Does America have friends or enemies? What do friends/enemies think of America?
Again, "Friend" is a word with various definitions. America certainly has allies. But friends? I'm not too sure. America has plenty of enemies, though.

Foreign intervention (or not!) America seems to think that they're the leader of the world, giving them the right to involve themselves in other countries' affairs. Sure, some people want American help, but some don't.

Domestic and foreign surveillance
I really think people give this too much attention. Privacy is nothing anymore. It's not too big of a deal to me.

Its record on human rights
Iffy. There's a lot of controversy about this recently. I think it's better than a lot of other countries, though.

Cultural attitudes
Americans don't know much about foreign events, etc. To be honest, I don't think most people care. It's really sad.

I'm American myself, by the way.

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